The Honda XR650L, a dual sport bike, has remained virtually unchanged since its initial release in 1993 with only minor tweaks and graphic changes. It still employs a carburetor, air cooling, and low-compression combustion chamber.
Despite the lack of modern sophistication, the proven design of the XR makes it more reliable than many modern bikes. The XR also has a sturdy steel frame, which is more durable than lighter aluminum frames. The engine’s simple design makes maintenance easy.
Straight from the factory, this bike is great off-road and one of the most dirt-oriented dual-sports available. The XR is also incredibly versatile, perfect for off-road single-track without the need to trailer a dirt bike. The bike boasts ample power for highway speeds and the large displacement cylinder allows it to be ridden hard off-road. Also, the bike’s counterbalance reduces many vibrations that are tiring. The XR650L is reasonably priced at $6999 and still has very high demand.
When compared to its competitor, the KLR650, the XR comes out on top. It is almost 90 lbs. lighter than the KLR and has much longer suspension travel, making it more suited for off-road riding. Also, the bike’s softer suspension gives it an edge on rough terrain.
The dual sport may be slower than some newer dual-sports or motocross bikes, but the maintenance is less frequent and much cheaper. The XR650L is still a very relevant bike today.